31 December 2014

Kingdom of Heaven

Kingdom of Heaven 2005
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Based on novel: no
  • Cast: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, David Thewlis, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson, Jeremy Irons, Jon Finch (behind the mask), Ghassan Hassoud
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor in:
    • Orlando Bloom  Extras, Troy, Lord of the Rings et al, Ned Kelly
    • Eva Green – Dark Shadows
    • David Thewlis – Harry Potter, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Restoration, Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, The Big Lebowsky, Naked, Life Is Sweet
    • Liam Neeson – Star Wars, The Dark Knight Rises, Life’s Too Short, Seraphim Falls, Batman Begins, Love Actually, The Gangs of New York, Les Misérables, Rob Roy, Nell, Schindler’s List
    • Brendan Gleeson– Harry Potter, In Bruges, Cold Mountain, Gangs of New York, 28 Days Later, My Life So Far, The Butcher Boy, Michael Collins, Braveheart
    • Jeremy Irons – Beautiful Creatures, Being Julia, Merchant of Venice, Longitude, The House of the Spirits, Damage, Waterland, Kafka, Reversal of Fortune, Australia, The French Lieutenant’s Woman,
    • Jon Finch – Much Ado About Nothing, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Richard II, Macbeth
    • Ghassan Hassoud – Pirates of the Caribbean At World’s End
  • Why?  It needs to be seen more than once
  • Seen:  Once previously. Now December 27, 2014
The Crusades were insanity, as all wars and much of religion are. In some ways this film recognises that. It also recognises the complexity of history and the crimes committed by the Christians.
As usual with battle movies (and real battles, I assume) it’s impossible to keep track of what’s going on but it’s visually magnificent.  The horses are beautiful.  The skies and deserts and mountains are glorious.
In the film the Crusades have been going on for a century. The Christians rule Jerusalem but under a good king. Relationships with the Saracens, under the noble Saladin, are good.  Fanatic Templar knights, however, want to provoke war with the Muslims.
History is always fascinating, the Crusades and the battles over Jerusalem more than much else.  The film goes a long way in capturing this.
Battles always put me to sleep; so it is this time too but less than usual.  There are a few clichés – the noble people are a bit too noble and the beautiful woman is too beautiful and little else.
But as a whole it’s a very well made and watchable film.

4 * of 5


  1. Haha! Good one :-) Glad we agree about something! Not your favourite film, I gather.